Too many red flags were flagged Monday, raising questions over the possibility of the Telangana Bill’s passage in the last session of Parliament before elections, which begins Wednesday.
Somewhat moving away from its earlier stand of unconditional support to a separate State of Telangana, the BJP not only reiterated that concerns of Seemandhra must be addressed first but also importantly emphasised that it is not in favour of pushing through the bill by suspending MPs.
In other words, the BJP told the Congress it had better set its house in Seemandhra in order and bring its rebel MPs onboard — a possibility that is extremely remote considering that six party MPs from Seemandhra have not even been invited to a coordination meeting convened by the Congress on Tuesday. The BJP’s stand was made clear at the all-party meeting in Delhi. Speaking after the meeting, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said, “If the government can assure us the House will function peacefully, we have no problem in passing the bills.” On Telangana, she pointed out it was the Congress members who were disrupting proceedings.
She, in fact, termed the government’s agenda for the session, “your leader’s (Rahul Gandhi) agenda” and questioned, “why should we follow your leader’s wishes?” Finance Minister Chidambaram told the meeting vote-on-account papers were being prepared and he would try to place it in Parliament on Feb 17. The BJP leaders responded with a suggestion that the government in that case might as well convene the House on Feb 17 — something other parties cited as an “indication of the changing mood in the BJP.” According to sources, except CPI and to some extent, MIM, none favoured preferential treatment to T bill. Parties like the TMC went to the extent of saying that the government should be content with just the vote-on-account. The MIM is understood to have suggested that there be a discussion on T bill instead of pushing it through by voice vote. The party is also learnt to have suggested to the Congress to set its house in order. Interestingly, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is in Delhi, didn’t attend the meeting due to his preoccupation with other appointments. Significantly, JD (U) strongly opposed bifurcation on the ground that the situation in AP was not conducive for such a major step and felt it should be deferred until after elections. The lone party that spoke in favour of T bill was Ajit Singh’s RLD, which has little influence.
APNGOs' Stir From February 6
APNGO's President Ashok Babu on Monday announced an indefinite stir from February 6 and called for a state-wide bandh on February 10,11 and 12. The Telangana Joint Action Committee, meanwhile, convened an emergency meeting today. It is likely to call for an indefinite bandh till the Telangana Bill is passed.
Congress Top Brass Summons CM & Co
Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy will be leaving for Delhi today along with his Seemandhra colleagues. They have been summoned to the Congress war room for discussions. The six rebel MPs from Seemandhra have not been invited. Kiran will meet the President and sit on a silent protest at Indira's Samadhi on Wednesday. Read More
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